Yuga Labs, the $4 billion startup behind the Bored Apes Yacht Club and other prominent NFT projects, announced Friday that it has restructured the company and eliminated certain roles as a result, leading to layoffs, Decrypt reported.
In a team email that was also shared publicly, Yuga Labs CEO Daniel Alegre wrote that he believed the startup had taken on too much internally, and that the company needed to refocus while tapping more external partners along the way.
According to Decrypt, Daniel Alegre wrote: “I realized very quickly that there were a number of projects that, while well-intentioned, either spread the team too thin or required execution expertise beyond our core competencies,” he wrote about his evaluation of the company after joining Activision earlier this year.
Alegre did not specific how many people were affected by the layoffs, and a Yuga Labs representative declined to clarify the figure to Decrypt. In the post, Alegre wrote that the restructuring impacts only United States-based employees for now, and that the company is still evaluating its international teams.
Decrypt reported that Yuga Labs was founded in early 2021 and had immediate success with the launch of the Bored Ape Yacht Club, an Etherieum NFT profile picture (PFP) project that quickly became arguably the most prominent collection in the space. Amid broader NFT market hype, Bored Ape NFTs sold for million-dollar prices in some cases, and were snatched up by celebrities.
But, as demand for NFT collectibles has plummeted over the last year-plus, prices for Bored Apes and other “blue chip” NFTs have fallen sharply, as has the price of ApeCoin. Yuga Labs grew substantially on the back of the Bored Ape buzz, but admit a weakened NFT market, the company is now slimming down as it seeks a sustainable model.
Web3IsGoingGreat reported that even the best known NFT brand can’t escape the effects of a collapsing industry. Yuga Labs, the company behind the blue-chip Bored Apes NFTs and related collections, and the acquirers of collections including CryptoPunks, has announced that it will be joining the many other companies in the crypto world performing layoffs. They did not disclose how many employees would be losing their jobs.
“It’s a challenging time, not only for our industry but also for the global economy,” wrote Yuga Labs CEO, apparently hoping that people ignorant to the past year of disaster across the NFT industry might be willing to attribute Yuga Labs’ struggles to macroeconomic forces, and not the implosion of the crypto – and particularly NFT – world.
Blockworks reported that Yuga Labs, the VC-backed NFT startup behind the Bored Ape Yacht Club and CryptoPunks, is the latest crypto firm to conduct layoffs.
According to Blockworks, Yuga Labs declined to disclose the number of layoffs, but co-founder Greg Solano posted on X that Yuga still has over 120 employees. Per Alegre’s message, the layoffs impacted the company’s U.S. teams.
As part of the changes, the company will focus on Otherside, Yuga’s gamified metaverse.
In my opinion, I don’t think its a bad thing that NFTs are less lucrative for the companies who made and sold them. There’s not a whole lot someone can do with the NFT they purchased, and this might be part of the reason why NFTs are currently going out of favor as an investment.